Epic Failure - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2010884

Epic Failure

The article “To Further His Vision, Developer Has Purchased An Array Of Downtown Hampton Bays Parcels” [27east.com, August 10] shined a light on the fact that it is the developer’s vision that created the proposed zoning changes for the downtown — the Hampton Bays downtown overlay district.

This is contrary to the years of representations made by town officials that the HBDOD was based on the community’s vision. It is no wonder that community members referred to the final design of the HBDOD as a “bait-and-switch.”

To what length will the Town Board go to facilitate the developer’s plan under the guise of the HBDOD? Has the Town Board violated its ethical and legal obligations to the public?

During the HBDOD process, the town officials denied that there were any site plans. Town officials shielded the developer’s plan from public scrutiny until the developer came out of the shadows after the HBDOD was annulled by the State Supreme Court in July 2021.

In its zeal to adopt the HBDOD in 2020, the Town Board failed to adequately review the environmental impact — the grounds on which the HBDOD was annulled.

Under the guise of the HBDOD, the Town Board has expended and continues to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer monies on consultants and personnel time to facilitate the zoning changes and infrastructure needs for the developer’s plan.

It is reported that the town intends to purchase the developer’s property at 30 Cemetery Road and build a sewage treatment plant with state and local taxpayer monies. The plant is needed for the developer’s plan. The property is owned indirectly by the developer through 30 STP LLC since 2015. The property was chosen by the town officials in 2019 for the HBDOD without evaluating any other properties.

The Town Board appears to have lost its objectivity related to the HBDOD, the developer and the developer’s plan. The Town Board no longer appears independent from the developer.

The Town Board has no alternative but to abandon the HBDOD redux.

The developer has the right to proceed on his own and develop his property under the current zoning, or prepare and file all the necessary documents for a change of zone, just as other developers, such as the Rechler Group, have done in the past.

The downtown rezoning process was an epic failure on the part of the town officials. It appears that they lost sight of the truth, facts and law, and their responsibility to the public.

It is now time to end the dog-and-pony shows and stop with the mistruths and false narratives. Shame on all of them.

Gayle Lombardi

Hampton Bays